FXpansion B.O.M.B. review

Big Orchestral Marching Band (BOMB): Great drum sounds!

MusicRadar Verdict

Another winner from FXpansion. Don't overlook this library - it might just be exactly what you need.


  • +

    Superb sounds.


  • -

    Takes up a lot of space!

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A marching band? I'll forgive you if your first reaction is the same as mine - what use do I have for such a collection, I'm not Brazilian!

But wait. It might surprise you to learn that the sound of marching bands have been incorporated into worldwide smashes by artists as varied as Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg and, er, Jona Lewie.

These world-beating artists have already recognised that there's plenty of scope for more esoteric drum sounds in their tunes.

They've been overlooked until now, but if you need edgy beats, why not turn to the edgiest drummers of them all - a fully tooled up marching band?

BOMB installs in the usual FXpansion fashion - you have two DVDs, and the installer routine can be configured to write up to 38GB of samples to your hard drive.

Once this process has completed (which took me just under twenty minutes) you need to authorise your installation online. This was straightforward and I was up and running with no hassles.

My first impression of this collection was simply WOW. You have five preset kits that cover most of the collection. With a small amount of balancing between the dry and ambient channels, I found a wealth of drum samples that I could put to work immediately.

These are not your usual drum kits though - we have seven marching and orchestral snares played with various sticks, brushes, mallets and hotrods, four tonal bass drums with various beaters, quad toms and plenty of other lesser known percussion instruments.

Many of the kick drums come with a virtual 'extreme advisory low end' warning sticker. I was a little sceptical about how extreme these low frequencies would be.

Big bass!

However, checking the frequency spread of the bass drums with Multimeter in Logic, I spotted some very loud bass frequencies, some as low as below 30Hz. With the long ring on these bass drums, I can now see that the warning is warranted.

In some ways you have an acoustic version of the classic 808 kick here. A good thing? Definitely. These kicks are perfectly suited to Hip Hop,

It's becoming a cliché for me to say this, but once again I was mightily impressed with this BFD library. This collection is a very shrewd move on the part of FXpansion.

Having covered virtually everything you could need from traditional drum kit libraries, they've turned their attention to this previously ignored family of percussion instruments and excelled at the task.

Through my ignorance, I was expecting to be scratching my head wondering how I could incorporate these sounds. But, the moment I loaded in the Hip Hop Street Beats kit, I had a revelation.

Here were the laid-back yet edgy drum sounds I'd been hearing on the big hits for years yet, not able to find in my sample library.

In 2005, I said that FXpansion's 8-bit kit would soon be heard on international hits. I was right. I'll put my neck on the line again - this collection will be heard on a dozen international hits by 2009. It's that good.